Winner - Olivia Cole "Roots"
Runners Up - Mary Louise Parker "Angels in America", Rosemary Murphy "Eleanor and Franklin"
Commentary - The cast of Roots is still today one of the best ensembles in television history. With so many incredible performances to choose from, I think it says a lot that Emmy voters went for the role of Mathilda played with such ferocity, passion, and emotion by Olivia Cole. Playing the supporting and suffering wife is not new territory, and wasn't even in 1977. But Olivia Cole's presence and passion were so evident that it elevated a classic character to new heights and she managed to make it her own. A great achievement.